It’s been awhile since we’ve offered our picks for the best of what may be flying under your radar on Netflix, but we’ve seen a few lately that truly deserve your attention. Going forward you can expect our Netflix Picks to become a more regular feature on Pop Bitez.
As always, all of these films are currently available for instant viewing and we suggest you add ’em to your queue today!
As his lover announces her pregnancy, a forty-something slacker receives other life-changing news: 142 people, all of them the result of artificial insemination, have filed a class action lawsuit against him, their biological father.
By this point you’ve seen the commercials for the new Vince Vaughn film, Delivery Man, opening this coming Friday. What you might not know is Delivery Man is actually a remake of this Canadian indie hit, which was an international multiple award winner in 2011.
The main reason this one might be missing from your queue very well may be the same reason we originally didn’t catch this flick in it’s initial release, unfortunately, it’s all about the title, which, if you’re asking us, sucks, and begs the question; what were the filmmakers and producers thinking?
Starbuck? Really? Well, let’s see, if you’re of an older generation you might see this title and immediately think of Burt Lancaster in the classic film from 1956, The Rainmaker. If you’re a sci fi geek your mind will instantly jump to Battlestar Galactica and, if you don’t have a mind that retains character names from film and television, of course, you’re going to be thinking about the international coffee chain. There are so many arguments to be made against this title I can only assume no one ever challenged it while in production. That’s a real shame because, outside of the weak non de plume, this is a really charming, intelligent and heartwarming flick.
To give you a ‘heads up’, the film is sub-titled in English, as the language featured in the film is French/Spanish, (yes, it’s from THAT part of Canada). If subtitles don’t bother you, (we love them but we also understand many don’t), give this flick a chance, we have no doubt it will win you over quickly.
On a side note, the only reason we’re holding out hope for the Vince Vaughn remake is the fact that they have wisely allowed Ken Scott and Martin Petit, the director and authors of Starbuck, to revisit their roles for this English version, (though we also have to admit, as far as titles go, Delivery Man almost sucks as bad, not quite, but almost).
♦ The Whale
The true story of Luna, a young, wild killer whale who tries to befriend people on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island.
While attending the 2012 Sedona International Film Festival I was lucky enough to catch a screening of this one and we gave it four out of 5 stars at the time, after a second viewing we firmly stand by that original rating.
There are some powerful debates at the center of The Whale, a smart, beautiful and heartbreaking examination of our interactions with the animal kingdom that asks all the right questions and challenges you to come up with your own decisions and answers.
Be warned, while The Whale isn’t nearly as hard of a watch as this year’s Blackfish or last year’s The Cove, it’s not necessarily going to leave you feeling too happy-go-lucky either, this ain’t Happy Feet folks. Still, this is a highly recommended must for you and your family and is as important as it is entertaining.
♦ The Sapphires
It’s 1968, and four young, talented Australian Aboriginal girls learn about love, friendship and war when their all girl group The Sapphires entertain the US troops in Vietnam.
We loved this flick and we’re absolutely certain you will too. The film was a HUGE hit in Australia last year which led to the Weinstein Company’s purchase of the film for distribution in the U.S. Sadly, the Weinsteins were more preoccupied with their big marquee titles during “Awards Season” and all but left this movie to collect dust on their golden shelf.
While the story may feel a little familiar it’s important to note the film is actually “based on a true story”.
We initially went into this film with a very skeptical eye but came out charmed and surprised.
♦ In Bruges
Guilt-stricken after a job gone wrong, hitman Ray and his partner await orders from their ruthless boss in Bruges, Belgium, the last place in the world Ray wants to be.
Once again, with the title being what it is, it’s easy to see how you might be missing this flick while you’re scrolling and reviewing what’s currently available for instant streaming, but you simply need to trust us on this little gem. It’s everything you want a good indie to be, smart, funny, unnerving and even a little heartbreaking. As far as intimate character studies are concerned, this one is as good as it gets.
♦ Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan
Before Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, The Terminator, Pirates of the Caribbean or The Lord of the Rings, we had the forefather of all those films, Ray Harryhausen.
This is the definitive documentary about Ray and, aside from interviews with the great man himself, this film also features interviews and tributes from some serious Hollywood heavyweights including Terry Gilliam, Rick Baker, John Landis, Guillermo Del Toro, Robert Zemeckis, James Cameron and Steven Spielberg.
This one is a definite must for fans of old school sci fi and fantasy movies!
Four sommeliers attempt to pass the prestigious Master Sommelier exam, a test with one of the lowest pass rates in the world.
Many have hailed this one as the “best movie ever made about wine”, personally, we can’t really make that claim as we’re not 100% certain we’ve seen ALL of them but, from what we have seen, we definitely would consider this ONE of the best!
Grab a glass, a bottle and your remote, you’re sure to enjoy SOMM, In Vino Veritas Popsters!